Cardano (THERE IS) reached a major milestone on its roadmap on Sept. 13, as its blockchain launched Plutus-powered smart contracts as part of the Alonzo hard fork.
The Alonzo hard fork proved highly anticipated in the Cardano community and in the crypto space in general.
The smart contracts functionality is intended for Cardano to become a platform on which developers can create decentralized applications (DApps) and even mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs). This milestone is being hailed as the point in network development where “the mission really begins.”
But nevertheless, the news of the execution of this milestone did not prevent the network’s native token, Cardano (THERE IS), fell into the broadest slide to gripped the cryptocurrency market since Bitcoin (BTC) plunged below $ 43,000 on September 7. Following the Alonzo hard fork on September 10, ADA fell 10% to hit an intraday low of $ 2.3, while BTC and Ether (ETH) only fell 4% and 6.97%, respectively.
Marie Tatibouet, Marketing director at crypto exchange Gate.io told Cointelegraph:
“This changes everything for Cardano! For a long time, Cardano was known as the smart contracts platform without the smart contracts, but now critics will have to change that narrative. With the advent of real contracts, utility and usability Cardano’s soar. “
Cardano developer activity is among the highest
According to a report from Outlier Ventures titled “Blockchain Development Trends Q2 2020/21”, Cardano is one of the most active blockchain networks in terms of development, with the highest average monthly commits per month in the Github code repositories, with 701 commits per month (CPM).
The average CPM for all protocols considered in the report is 107 CPM. These “commits” they essentially represent any additions or modifications made to the network source code on Github.
In terms of these commits, Ethereum ranks second with 447 CPM, IOTA ranks third with 394 CPM with Filecoin and Flow completing the top five with 368 CPM and 306 CPM, respectively. This shows that Cardano is 555% more active than Ethereum and 317% more than the average of all connected blockchain networks.
As for the total number of developers building on a particular blockchain network, Ethereum continues to lead with 168 monthly active developers (MAD). Cardano is close behind in second place with 165 MAD, showing a higher YoY increase of 31.8%. The network already has the functionality that allows the creation of NFT. According to data provided by Cardano to Cointelegraph, 780,436 minted NFTs were produced on the network.
Such an active developer community is a testament to how quickly the network develops and adapts to the changing needs of the ecosystem.. Cardano has a large number of developers and the largest development activities among similar blockchain protocols, which improves the security and transparency of the network. The Alonzo hard fork, incorporating smart contract functionality, will only drive these trends further.
Cardano DApps are still on the distant horizon
Although the Alonzo update, which is part of the Goguen phase of Cardano’s roadmap, allows developers to deploy Plutus-powered smart contracts on the network, the network did not reach that stage.
Despite the belief in the market that more than 2,000 smart contracts are deployed on the network, according to data From the Vercel app, a third-party data provider that uses data from adapools.org, there are only 26 Plutus-powered smart contracts deployed at press time.
There is also a market-wide perception that these smart contracts are time-locked (timelock). But, a Cardano spokesperson clarified to Cointelegraph that the network has time-blocking scripts from the Allegra era of the project’s roadmap. These time-blocking scripts are used for activities such as helping NFT minting by having said assets run unique for-instance and multisig schemas. Smart contracts differ greatly from these scripts and cannot be placed in “timelock”.
Nasser’s Own, Senior analyst at OKEx Insights (OKEx’s research team) told Cointelegraph:
“Time locks are used to protect users from changes made to contracts after their creation. Not all 2,300 scripts seen on the Cardano network are real applications, most are token minting and NFT policies on the Cardano network, and are time-locked to prevent changes. “
However, time locks can be used once DApps are created and widely used. They can also be used to provide users with alerts once changes to a smart contract are triggered. This feature prevents the implementation of these changes instantly, giving users time to review and act on them if necessary before they are implemented.
It remains to be seen how quickly actual utility could come to the Cardano network in terms of DApps and other decentralized finance features. But it could also be a case of managing expectations. Johnny Lyu, KuCoin CEO, told Cointelegraph that, Although the Alonzo update is a landmark event for Cardano, don’t expect lightning-fast achievements in a short period of time.
“Users have to be patient, and developers have to keep going and work hard to avoid mistakes that can lead to hacks and loss of funds on smart contracts.”
An example of smart contracts that are introduced on the fast track in a network can be seen in the case of the Binance smart chain, the most recent being the hack of $ 12.7 million in BTC from the pNetwork.
“At the same time, I believe that after launch, it will take more than two years for DApps to be deployed and operational at full scale on Cardano, as was the case with the Ethereum network,” Lyu said, adding: “I think everyone is ready to start now and offer some new products and applications to users, but you need to make sure they are secure.”
Since Cardano is a blockchain project that was always focused on fundamentals, one could assume that they will allow funds to flow through smart contracts only when they are considered safe and secure. The founder of Five Binaries, Marek Mahut, who ran the first smart contract at Cardano, said that “Security and scalability are important features for any developer. Cardano’s accounting technology, eUTXO, provides a novel approach, making it easy to write secure smart contracts.”
The Cardano Foundation held the Cardano Summit 2021 on September 25 and 26. IOHK, the blockchain research and development company responsible for Cardano’s infrastructure, discussed at this summit the planned updates and enhancements to the functionality of smart contracts. It remains to be seen when actual DApps can be deployed on the network, but it is not an instantaneous process.
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Cardano’s Alonzo update was a success, but the actual utility could be a long time coming